Chapecoense survivor Ruschel hopes to be playing in six months

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Alan Ruschel is targeting a return to professional football in six months, having survived the Colombian air disaster involving Chapecoense.

Ruschel suffered spinal injuries when the aeroplane carrying Chapecoense players, backroom staff, directors and a contingent of journalists to the Copa Sudamericana final fixture with Atletico Nacional in Medellin crashed, killing 71 people.

Goalkeeper Jackson Follmann and defender Neto were the only other players to survive and have since been transferred to hospitals in Brazil, while Ruschel has been discharged.

The 27-year-old now has his sights set on returning to the pitch in 2017 and preserving the tight-knit environment he experienced with his former team-mates.

At a media conference in Chapeco on Saturday, Ruschel said: "I don't have the words to explain what I'm feeling. It's a mixture of feelings, a great joy for being sitting here [in Chapeco] again, but at the same time a sadness for having lost many friends.

"I will honour their families who remain, who are feeling that pain today.

"I will do everything to return to play, with a lot of patience. I will do everything to give joy to [Chapecoense president] Plinio [David de Nes Filho], to the doctors, I will do everything to make all the people here happy.

 

A photo posted by Alan Ruschel (@alanruschel) on

"I calculated three months for the spine to calcify, one has already passed, so two more months, or one and a half, to strengthen the spine, and another three months to recover the mass.

"What I take from the lesson is to live life, enjoy life and do good. What the doctors did for me during those days cannot be explained.

"I hope to return and take the atmosphere from before into the dressing room for the next players to arrive."